Man who Survived Golden Gate Bridge Jump to Talk to Students

Kevin Hines felt instant regret a millisecond after he leapt from the Golden Gate Bridge.

But there was no turning back for the then-19-year-old, who was free-falling 25 stories at a rate of 75 miles an hour from San Francisco’s signature landmark.

“I don’t want to die. God, please save me,” he said in his head, before hitting the water. The impact reverberated from Hines’ legs to his lower back, shattering three of his vertebrae like shards of glass and nearly severing his spinal cord.

Seventeen years later, Hines, who is one of 36 people to survive that fateful 220-foot jump, is sharing his story to foster hope among people struggling with mental illness and difficult life circumstances.

Hines will speak to students at all three Sioux City high schools on Dec. 12 in conjunction with Youth Mental Health First Aid, a public education program that trains people who work with adolescents to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.